The famous quote from Alfred Lord Tennyson, “'tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."
Didn't we change that statement to a question at some point?
I have loved many, many times in my forty-nine years and have actually been in love a few times. Yes I believe there is a glorious difference.
I have had the unique experience of falling in love at first sight. Once.
The experience of meeting people, with the knowing that they are going to be incredibly important in your life and you for them. The experience of meeting, with the knowledge that you've met before.
Love, of course, is not just about romance, though I am an avid fan of delicious romance.
Love is the joy of seeing my my god children grow (one official, Harry, and one unofficial, Jack). The laughter shared with friends. The happiness of cuddling Max the Cat. When I open a book and read Chapter One. When I close a book, with that feeling of Wow. When I look at food!!!! When I make a good cup of tea. When the sun shines and I'm driving toward a friend. When I make my Mum laugh and when I ask her - tell me something I don't know, and she does!
While watching a sunset. While crying and being held. While dancing. While eating popcorn as a movie begins. When looking back at photographs and noticing a shining spirit light, that shows me I'm still connected.
I feel stronger, happier and inspired when I'm with people who I love and they love me.
There are no good byes. How can you forget the people who matter? We don't have to.
So, yes, it is better to have loved and lost, because my heart will always be open to continue with its love. My love. Because for those who see me as disposable, or temporary, or wrong, there are those who will cross a million oceans to see me smile - and for those I give my honest heart.
AND most importantly, I suddenly understand why we must at first love ourselves. I get it, finally. I heard the words loud and clear. It all fell into place this evening, sitting and thinking about the ones I love, who I know, without a doubt, are thinking about me.
So maybe there is no loss, when all you have is love. It is eternal.
From EE Cummings: